Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

New Distribution Center for Westside in Planning Stage

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

New Distribution Center for Westside in Planning Stage

Article excerpt

West Jacksonville is on tap for another warehouse project as N.G. Wade Investment Co. makes plans for a 230,000-square-foot distribution center.

The two-structure project is designed on about 20 acres south along Commonwealth Avenue, west of Imeson Road.

Why now?

"We feel the time is right, the market is right, vacancy rates in the industrial sector remain quite low, there is not an overabundance of new construction and we will be able to offer smaller increments than some of the other industrial developments," said Clif Byrd, president of Wesjax Development Co., an affiliate of N.G. Wade.

Byrd said the market is not quite as hot as it was two years ago, "but it's still quite healthy."

How hot was that market? "There was a time when a 20,000-square-foot space became extremely hard to find anywhere," Byrd said. At one time, a prospect seeking industrial rental spaces would ask to "give me a list of 10 or 12 to look at and you would start laughing."

He said industrial vacancy rates now hover at a "very reasonable" 5.5 percent.

N.G. Wade intends to start construction on a 95,000-square-foot speculative distribution center in August for completion during the first quarter of 2001. Byrd said that the project could accommodate tenants needing as little as 12,000 square feet up to a single user needing the whole building.

The second building, at 135,000 square feet, would be built based on demand for the first, Byrd said.

Plans filed with the Jacksonville Planning and Development Department Concurrency Management System Office peg the project at an estimated $5.1 million, although Byrd said costs have not been determined yet.

WESCO: WESCO Distribution Inc., which distributes electrical and industrial products, is planning to lease a new Southside warehouse center and move from its existing nearby location at 5911 Philips Highway.

Plans filed with the concurrency office show that WESCO intends to lease a new 28,800-square-foot center planned on 4.4 acres along Bowdendale Avenue, near Philips Highway. Jaguar Builders Inc. of Jacksonville is the agent for the project.

Company Real Estate Manager Gary Habsburg said construction should start by Aug. 1 and be completed by the end of the year. Costs of land, construction and equipment could come to $1.6 million.

"This puts us into a right-sized warehouse," he said.

The Jacksonville center employs about 30 people and will add jobs as business grows. It now occupies part of a 60,000-square-foot office-warehouse that houses Englewood Electrical Supply, formerly Ace Electric Supply, which WESCO bought in December 1996. Englewood Electrical is owned by WESCO.

WESCO's Web site shows that the Pittsburgh-based company operates more than 340 full-service branches throughout North America and employs about 5,800 people. …

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